Exploring the acceptance of religious assistance among patients of a psychiatric hospital.


Spiritual issues are rarely addressed by psychiatric institutions in daily routine practice.AIMS:

To report the prevalence of, and factors associated with, inpatients’ acceptance of religious assistance in a psychiatric hospital.


All patients evaluated by the religious assistance service in a psychiatric hospital were included. Patients admitted were asked about their need for religious assistance and were assessed on several religious aspects. Additional information was collected from patients’ hospital charts. A comparison between those who accepted the religious assistance and those who did not was performed.


Most of the 213 patients evaluated requested religious assistance (85.0%), including those that reported having no religion (79.1%). Patients with a diagnosis of schizophrenia (p = .010) and lower intrinsic religiousness (p = .002) tended to request less religious assistance. More than 80% of patients requested assistance based on religious traditions other than their own.


Most psychiatric inpatients were willing to participate in religious assistance sessions, even those without formal religious affiliations. Patients with lower intrinsic religiosity and schizophrenia tended to request less assistance. We believe the findings of this study can serve to foster discussion on whether psychiatric hospitals should provide a structured religious care service.


Spirituality, psychiatry, religion and medicine, religious assistance

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